Fate / Zero is the prequel to Fate / Stay Night, in which we witness the previous war for the Holy Grail between pairs of mages and their summoned heroic spirits. It’s an adaptation of a novel by Urobochi Gen, the writer of Madoka Magicka. You don’t need to have seen or read F/SN to understand this series, although I would recommend doing so.
There’s much to love about Fate / Zero. It has an interesting story to tell, the production values are superb, and some excellent characters. Rider and Waver (shown above) were particularly enjoyable to watch. Waver is just an ordinary kid at the magic school who wants to upstage his teacher, while Rider wants to conquer the world. These two were so much fun to watch.
We also had a pair of serial killers who made things entertaining, a diverse cast of characters doomed to tragic fates, and a pair of assassins who take things to the next level. The fights in this series are intense, and probably the best I’ve seen since Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
There was only one thing that really bothered me: the endless talking and posing by the trinity of goody-two-shoes: Saber, Lancer and Irisviel. Saber and Lancer will sit in front of each other for hours and hours and talk about honor, while Saber and Irisviel will pose in suits in front of cars. It was extremely frustrating. Fortunately, these two aspects are mainly limited to the first half of the series.
Overall, it was an enjoyable and unpredictable series that kept me on my toes, even if there were some dull moments.
- Storytelling – B - From what commenters have said, it left out a few key parts of the novel. In the earlier parts, there was a strong focus on telling rather than showing.
- Voice – A - Gives an excellent dark vibe, but still has humorous segments.
- Characters – B - I couldn’t stand Saber, Irisviel and Lancer, but Waver and Rider were great.
- Attention Grab – B - Again, a few boring parts, but mostly kept my attention. Excellent fight scenes when they didn’t involve Saber talking.
- Production – A - Beautiful.
- Overall – B